Friday, January 4, 2013

A Look At December Numbers

Photo Copyright 2012 by P-G Matuszak. All Rights Reserved.

The unemployment (U3) report for December 2012 is out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nothing of importance has changed. They claim that the U3 unemployment remained at 7.8%. They claim that the Workforce Participation Rate remained at 63.6%.

The U6 unemployed and underemployed rate is closer to 15.3%.


In common sense terms, the numbers stink. It screams of what President "Peanut" Carter called "malaise".

The Workforce Participation Rate (WPR) at 63.6% over the holiday season should strike citizens as alarming. From late October through December there is normally a seasonal uptick in employment and WPR. Normally, college students garner employment between semesters. Normally, some stay-at-home parents grab part-time employment during these months in order to bump up their holiday celebration budgets. Obviously, this was not the case this year. If it were, then U3 will jump and WPR will drop in January.

If the WPR were the same, today, as it was for December 2008, the U3 unemployment rate would be 13.2%. The U6 unemployment rate would be 20.8%. This is closer to what the real unemployment rate is.

Long-term unemployment remained constant, indicating that those out-of-work made no headway in acquiring employment. Those marginally attached indicated the same. These numbers show that any "increase" in employment in "non-farm", "healthcare", etc. categories are really not increases in employment. It just means some employed people shifted employers.

Not addressed in the report is the increase in applications for SSDI. Following trends over recent months, applications in December set a new record over November's record numbers. However, those approved for SSDI payments in December are still counted as part of the WPR until their first full month of receiving government handouts has completed. This means that the WPR may be actually lower than reported.

Of note is that the average hourly wage has increased a whopping 7 cents. That means your average working citizen is still making less, now, than in November 2011 when the average was closer to $25 an hour than the current $23.73. Non-supervisory jobs average $19.92 an hour, for comparison.

In this article, there is a quote from Mike Huckabee using November 2011 numbers. Government handouts approximate what a working/producing person would gross at $30 and hour, if working 40 hours a week, and be tax exempt. Your average worker is making $23.73 and hour with an average work week of 34.5 hours with non-supervisory at $19.92 for 33.8 hours. That is before federal income taxes, socialist insecurity theft social security taxes, and medicare taxes. So, gross, before taxes, it's obvious it currently pays more to be lazy.  

The recently passed amended version of H.R. 8 still increases social security taxes (for a bankrupt program) by 2%, or an average of $17 a week less in net income for your average worker. Due to the PPACA, health insurance and healthcare plans now cost your average worker an average of $3600 a year ($70 a week). The cost of government mandated deductions continues. So, your average working American, of which there are fewer and fewer, is making less yet paying far more in taxes than prior to Obama's first inauguration.

Hope seems gone. Change is not necessarily growth or progress or prosperity. The "change" Obama and his ilk have brought are entropy, decay, destruction, and ruin. The numbers don't lie.